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I appreciate both of your sentiments, thank you.

I continue to be at least somewhat optimistic that non ad-supported models are worth trying. It seems like Patreon is doing really well and is perhaps something we can all learn from.




I paid into the very beginning. It was never useful to me. I don't regret spending the money to see if it could work.

For me, the lack of apps/integrations made it essentially impossible for me to get the people I wanted to talk to on there on to there.

But I'm really glad you tried, I'm even more glad you've documented what did and didn't work, and I definitely got value for money.

Good luck with whatever's next.


Yeah, for app.net I think it was more chicken and egg that killed you than paid per se. Pay presents an especially difficult chicken and egg problem because not only do you have to get people to part with their time to sign up you have to ask them to pay for what may potentially be no value provided.

I remember trying to explain why it wasn't a stupid idea to people way back when it launched on HN, and had kind of assumed that it'd died years ago.

----

Hypothesis: If you can find a way to provide value while you build up the network, the product would do better.

Second hypothesis: If you can find a way to acquire valuable users with a low-effort funnel and 'leech' users with a paid funnel that would also make the product perform better.

Taking these as assumptions for a moment, this would imply a natural advantage for federated networks if they provide interoperability between different services that have value on their own without network effects.


I followed what you were doing at app.net with great interest when it launched. We were also building an app platform, but with a very different focus. https://qbix.com/platform . All our business models are NOT ad supported. Ads are "begging" the user to spend their time and maybe spend money. There are many ways to make money if you make apps for local communities.

We sort of took the tortoise approach to development, and this seems to have helped solve the chicken and egg problem with the userbase.

I will email you about it.


Let me also add - I'm really thankful that you tried so hard to make it work. I really had hopes for it but I guess, the environment was not right.




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